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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
From my observations from personal experience and the other INTP's I've conversed with, it seems to me that central to every INTP is a feeling of being 'trapped' or 'imprisoned' in some shape or form.

So I'm looking for more data, answer whichever questions you choose:

1. Do you experience this? Or are there INTP's out there who feel entirely free of this sensation? (if so, please enlighten us!).

2. Would you say it's more mental, physical, emotional, or something external?

3. Do you think it is inherent to the thought processes of an INTP, or does it stem from misunderstanding of our being? (Is this merely the curse of our personality type?)

4. What are your personal experiences with this? Have you ever managed to feel free of this sensation and do you have any insights to offer the rest of us?


I'll start...

1. Yes. Quite Freguently.

2. For me I'd say it's mainly a sense of being trapped in my mind by my own thought processes. However, if I feel mentally imprisoned in this way, it quickly leads to a sense of helplessness against physical, emotional, and external circumstances as well.

3. Still unsure in this regard. I recognize that our thought processes are the source, but it seems there ought to be a way to utilize them in such a way that this isn't the case.

4. Personal experience: When I was younger I felt very much this way, I spent most of my time at home motionless with a book. Then at some point a few years ago I was like, "Fuck. this. shit. I want out." So I started forcing myself to be more extroverted and proactive. I started exercising regularly, talking to lots of people, going to social events, organizing things etc. But it all started seeming so pointless, like I was forcing myself to be someone else and had no idea who I really was and actually felt MORE trapped because of this, and over the the past year I've slipped back into my old habits. I just have too many responsibilities and important decisions to juggle at this point and I find myself declining to go out with friends and instead spending the weekends at home studying or with my computer/books.

So, I guess the ultimate question is: Is there a way for an INTP to interact with the world as an INTP or or does this necessarily involve chameleoning to such a degree that he essentially loses his identity?
 

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1. I only feel trapped mentally. Trapped in a pattern of over thinking and over examination, knowing that my greatest strength is also my greatest weakness.

2. All mental. Some personality types feel imprisoned by those around them and their relationships. For me, I am fortunate enough to be free of such obligations. But I do struggle with the mental imprisonment of being unable to accept things as they are.

3. I think its just the result of an unbalanced personality. We are all given a set of tools to perceive the world, and the INTP tool comes in a form of detachment and observation. We sacrifice the ability to connect with the physical external world in order to connect to an alternative world where anything could happen. I live inside my own head because I struggle to adjust to what is out there.

4. I feel like I have no identity. I do not know what I want or need. I am just this "thing" that takes information in, and sometimes I attach myself to whatever data I find, giving me a temporarily sense of self until it wears off. This is the cycle I have been trapped it for a while now.
 

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I'm pretty outgoing and I'm an INTP. I don't feel "trapped" mentally, but I do get anxious a lot, which can trap you a lot psychologically. Ti can sometimes take on a pretty black/white, ZOMG this is going to be the end of the world character when it comes to dealing with Fe stuff, which is naturally a challenge. So I sometimes end up doing some strange things socially that make you appear aloof, distant, or frantic where there's no need to be...I'm just overanalytical and paranoid. Or I withdraw out of fear, which can make things worse.

This trapping is more societal, because I have anxiety about doing things. I'm outgoing, but in a spontaneous way. I'm about as proactive as a plant lol.

I don't feel it's absolutely crushing to me though. I still have enough confidence to get over it and it's tended to help my life. I've been told by others I chameleon a lot but I don't really care about that, just personally. I kind of enjoy shifting between identities...I see them more as different sides of myself than somehow betraying my INTP core. I am upfront about admitting I do it too, especially when people mention it, it's natural to me and not conscious.

I don't tend to use my Ti much in socializing (obviously) though.
 

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1. Do you experience this? Or are there INTP's out there who feel entirely free of this sensation? (if so, please enlighten us!).
I experience this very often, not to say most of the time.


2. Would you say it's more mental, physical, emotional, or something external?
I'd say all of the above, though I suspect the primary cause is being trapped in your own mind.
At times I feel like I, my consciousness, is all there is to me. And that is trapped in this fleshy exterior. I wonder what it would be like to be a pure form of consciousness, hmm but then again you'd have to miss out on some of the physical delights that are out there.
The feeling of being trapped emotionally is because of the weak Fe I think, which is reinforced by the self-imposed constrictions of my Ti.
And from this flow the external restraints also, my logic (or Ti, in combination with Ne) tell me one should act like this or that in the society and social circles (work, friends,..) I live in.

All seems to point back to Ti though, that damn logic that dictates who, what, when,.. I should be. But it is also a huge part of who I actually am so . .


3. Do you think it is inherent to the thought processes of an INTP, or does it stem from misunderstanding of our being? (Is this merely the curse of our personality type?)
Well as I said above, I think at the root of it lays our obsession with knowledge, with thinking in all of its forms. This reminds of one of those MBTI video's, the one comparing ISTP/INTP, the author might be right. We INTP's might be the "perfect" thinking machine, most of our functions are geared towards the pure thought process : Ti as the driving force, reinforced with Ne as our connection to the world beyond our own mind, and Si as our primary source of "new" input.

So you have to wonder, is it truly a dysfunction? After-al we are wired to be this way. We should be grateful we still have that inferior Fe, else we'd be totally and completely out of sync with the rest of society.


4. What are your personal experiences with this? Have you ever managed to feel free of this sensation and do you have any insights to offer the rest of us?
Well I try to "just" let go and "be". Doesn't come that easy to me, but it does happen. Being in nature can do the trick at times, but what helped me most in my teens and twenties was going clubbing.
It took me a while, and in the beginning quite some alcohol also, but once I started dancing and just "acted" or "reacted" to the music it was heaven.
A moment free of myself, of my own thoughts. My mind and body only tuned in to the rhythm and beat of the music.
As time progressed I needed less time and alcohol to get into that dancing-zone. I haven't been out dancing as much the last year or so, and I feel that threshold is increasing again though. so I guess a certain degree of training is required or at least facilitates it.
 

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1. Do you experience this? Or are there INTP's out there who feel entirely free of this sensation? (if so, please enlighten us!).

I guess I do. I don't know if I think of it as "trapped" so much. Not sure.

2. Would you say it's more mental, physical, emotional, or something external?

It's a combination of things.

- I feel trapped by society, with all of its illogical and arbitary ways of doing things, yet I'm powerless to change that or act how I want. If I want to be a part of society, I have to subscribe to some degree to the madness and/or deal with people's crap.

- I feel like I am a slave to my own rationality. Sometimes I just want to be emotionally free, or want to react warmly, or want to do something spontaneously without thinking about all the ramifications, or express myself just how I want to right then without other concerns... Sometimes I want to believe in things that I can't prove. Sometimes I want to make an irrational but indulgent decision -- and I can't. I just can't do it. I have to subject my values and beliefs and behavior to this logical process that inadvertently confines me to a particular style of behavior. I think NTs are as beholden to their own forms of logic as SJ's are stereotypically presented as being beholden to their own responsibilities.

3. Do you think it is inherent to the thought processes of an INTP, or does it stem from misunderstanding of our being? (Is this merely the curse of our personality type?)

Both, I guess. Part of it's who we are, part of it is what society expects of us.

4. What are your personal experiences with this? Have you ever managed to feel free of this sensation and do you have any insights to offer the rest of us?

About the freest I ever feel is being alone out in nature. The only thing that matters then is the sheer physicality of the world, my logic is aligned with it, and I'm finally just able to "be." I suppose when I've been drinking too (and get all giddy and goofy), i"m momentarily free of my rational control mechanism and can just respond to life.
 

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黐線 ~Chiseen~
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I'm curious... has there been a collected study / consensus of INTP's varying with age?

I believe there are varying grades of .... [hmm.. thinking of a word; not 'severity', not 'level', but some measure] (some measure) of development towards the individual with INTP traits / characteristics.

an adolescent INTP may be mature for their age, but that cannot compare to the experience of a veteran INTP.

That's not to say that that comparison doesn't apply to anything and everything else to do with age, but there has to be some classification to distinguish the two. And to lump them ignorantly under the unified 'INTP' banner just seems amiss.

Am I spewing confusion and nonsense here? or does someone get where I'm going at?
 

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1. Do you experience this? Or are there INTP's out there who feel entirely free of this sensation? (if so, please enlighten us!).

Yes, I do feel like I am trapped occasionally. I try not to think or dwell on it though.

2. Would you say it's more mental, physical, emotional, or something external?

I'd say it is more mental and emotional, but I feel trapped physically too. I'm still in high school so I have to live at home with my family and in that sense I'm trapped. I can't live independently or drive and I have to follow their rules. As for feeling mentally trapped, sometimes I think that I'm stuck repeating the same thought processes and am unable to move forward in my understanding of things. This happens a lot when I can't understand an idea or topic. Sometimes I fear that I'll be stuck never moving forward in my understanding and thats when I feel trapped.
Being emotionally trapped is probably the worst for me. I always realize this the most when I'm undergoing a mental breakdown. Feelings of helplessness and an inability to control my emotions are the main contributors to feeling imprisoned emotionally.

I also feel like I'm trapped living in a world where I'll have my entire life planned out for me. I can't break free from society's expectations or truly do what I want. I'm trapped in my body growing older as every second in times passes and can't do anything about it.

3. Do you think it is inherent to the thought processes of an INTP, or does it stem from misunderstanding of our being? (Is this merely the curse of our personality type?)

If a person is merely trapped in a physical, external sense, I think anybody (INTP or not) would feel trapped. But I think feeling trapped mentally may be something that happens often with Ti dominants.

4. What are your personal experiences with this? Have you ever managed to feel free of this sensation and do you have any insights to offer the rest of us?


A few moments in my (so far short) life have been spent thinking that I was 'free as a bird', but I think this was all an illusion. Underneath the surface, I'm still the same vulnerable person bound by the chains of my emotions and by my inability to understand what I want. Trying to keep myself from thinking about how emotionally trapped I am has helped me in thinking that I'm not trapped after all.
 

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I'm curious... has there been a collected study / consensus of INTP's varying with age?

I believe there are varying grades of .... [hmm.. thinking of a word; not 'severity', not 'level', but some measure] (some measure) of development towards the individual with INTP traits / characteristics.

an adolescent INTP may be mature for their age, but that cannot compare to the experience of a veteran INTP.

That's not to say that that comparison doesn't apply to anything and everything else to do with age, but there has to be some classification to distinguish the two. And to lump them ignorantly under the unified 'INTP' banner just seems amiss.

Am I spewing confusion and nonsense here? or does someone get where I'm going at?
I've never heard of such a study, but I think one would be very useful. Unfortunately, there are no distinct separations here made on age except for those Generation forums. I think it would be nice if PerC had age groups for each personality so we can lump together with those who are also around the same developmental stage we are in with maturity.

Do I appear to understand the nonsense you have spewed or am I way off?
 

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1. Yep. I am generally unsatisfied with the nature of my relationships with the people around me and in general how people see me, and I've often felt trapped in this situation - as if my entire life would go by with everything staying in the same unpleasant state. I've had similar feelings with regards to other aspects of my life I am unhappy over, but the feeling is worst with social stuff.

2. Not really sure which category this falls into.

3. I think that such things are fairly universal (perhaps it might be enlightening to ask around on the other subsections of the forum?), but more so for INTPs because of our penchant for detachment, self-analysis / introspection, and an inferior feeling function.

4. At one point about half a year ago, things were going ridiculously well for me, and for a while, these feelings stopped showing up (but it only lasted until things went back to being unpleasant). Lately, I've been able to quiet them down by thinking about and planning ways to change my situation. I've found that as long as I can convince myself that I can change things for the better (as opposed to being stuck for the rest of my life), I can significantly reduce how much this weighs on me.
 

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1. Do you experience this? Or are there INTP's out there who feel entirely free of this sensation? (if so, please enlighten us!).

2. Would you say it's more mental, physical, emotional, or something external?
I would say emotional and mental. The biggest problem comes when I WANT to be closer to people emotionally, but I have no idea how or when I try, every ounce of my being screams that it is a terrible idea. I just feel trapped in a way that I want closeness with people, but I get burned. I would say less of trapped for me and more of an analogy closer to a fly and a lightbulb. He knows it hurts him to go near, but it also hurts not to be.

3. Do you think it is inherent to the thought processes of an INTP, or does it stem from misunderstanding of our being? (Is this merely the curse of our personality type?)
I think it differs from person to person. Even among INTPs, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses.

4. What are your personal experiences with this? Have you ever managed to feel free of this sensation and do you have any insights to offer the rest of us?
Interpersonally, I am still a gigantic failure. My course of action is to stop caring and just learn more. If I become smarter, I at least will have an excuse to isolate myself "because they are dumber than me and cannot understand".
 

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黐線 ~Chiseen~
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developmental stage
Stage! Thank you. That was the word I was looking for. And yes, point was understood rather sufficiently. Thank you.

Although 'age' shouldn't play a factor. I find that many INTP's, regardless of 'age' have a different threshold of maturity. The stages are identifiable in my head through observation. It's something to be automagically recognized, but not something that i can easily be put in words to describe. I was hoping there's already some gauge / meter already established as a study / result to be able to use.
 

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Ooh, a survey! :laughing:

1. Do you experience this? Or are there INTP's out there who feel entirely free of this sensation? (if so, please enlighten us!).

No, I don't feel particularly trapped by anything. Unless you consider brain chemistry... I very much doubt that anyone (including myself) has access to purely free will and so I am trapped in that sense by my biological impulses, cultural upbringing, societal expectations, anatomy, income, etc. But no, I don't feel particularly "trapped" in any major sense.

2. Would you say it's more mental, physical, emotional, or something external?

See above. If you were to ask what out of the above bothers me the most, however, I'd have to say societal expectations of my behavior.

3. Do you think it is inherent to the thought processes of an INTP, or does it stem from misunderstanding of our being? (Is this merely the curse of our personality type?)

I definitely felt more "trapped" at an earlier age, but the older I get the more I feel free to make my own decisions, do my own thing, push boundaries within a range of acceptable lines, and assert authority. I think being parented and not having access to full adult responsibilities can be very frustrating for young INTPs, while adult INTPs may feel frustrated and burdened by seemingly annoying/useless/redundant adult responsibilities (e.g. "Why does the lawn need to be mowed at all? Who cares what the neighbors think?")

4. What are your personal experiences with this? Have you ever managed to feel free of this sensation and do you have any insights to offer the rest of us?

Hmm... I think it's important to give yourself the flexibility to assert your own needs, say no to things you don't enjoy doing, pursue work that fulfills and inspires you, and remember that you're clever enough to change your life to whatever you'd like it to be. Exert your freedoms in small ways that give you pleasure, push boundaries, seek out people who understand and can relate to you, avoid people who are overbearing and controlling.
 

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I feel trapped by my own lack of intuition when confronted with social and cultural structures/conventions, how to interact, behave and progress. In order to fully express and explore my inner emotional/intellectual world, where I feel completely free, I know I have to learn to navigate the outer world. The problem is that the outer world is strange and unfamiliar, it feels counterintuitive and illogical. I fail to understand what motivates other people, I fail to understand other peoples expectations, and I mostly fail to relate to other people at all, except superficially. My innermost desires often seem to clash with those of my own culture and my own social circle. My sense of entrapment and alienation is exacerbated by social anxiety and irrational semi-paranoia.

From "An INTP Profile":
To know is everything, to do is a lower order necessity, if it is necessary at all. This breeds the potential for lazy aloofness. The INTP is often satisfied simply by knowing that he could do something if he wished. This also leads to the danger of overestimating one's capabilities and losing a grip on reality.
This tendency of the INTP personality not to take action partially explains my sense of alienation and entrapment in the outer world. Lack of experience, lack of testing and lack of learning in the outer world has atrophied the mental structures necessary to take action and express myself confidently in the real world, thus I feel trapped in my mind and my being is in disharmony. The good news is that I know I can change and that I have decided to do so. To do list: Less thinking, more doing. Atleast more doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
3. I think its just the result of an unbalanced personality. We are all given a set of tools to perceive the world, and the INTP tool comes in a form of detachment and observation. We sacrifice the ability to connect with the physical external world in order to connect to an alternative world where anything could happen. I live inside my own head because I struggle to adjust to what is out there.
So it seems that we must choose between being fully adapted to our inner world or the outer world. I suppose that's the I/E distinction. But would you say you're really perfectly content to live inside your head?

4. I feel like I have no identity. I do not know what I want or need. I am just this "thing" that takes information in, and sometimes I attach myself to whatever data I find, giving me a temporarily sense of self until it wears off. This is the cycle I have been trapped it for a while now.
Totally sympathize with this. Life would be so much easier if we could actually figure out what we actually WANT in life. It occurs to me that INTP's are in the somewhat ironic situation of wanting to understand the world perfectly, but were we ever to achieve this we would be unsatisfied as it would no longer have any new understanding to offer us.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm pretty outgoing and I'm an INTP. I don't feel "trapped" mentally, but I do get anxious a lot, which can trap you a lot psychologically. Ti can sometimes take on a pretty black/white, ZOMG this is going to be the end of the world character when it comes to dealing with Fe stuff, which is naturally a challenge. So I sometimes end up doing some strange things socially that make you appear aloof, distant, or frantic where there's no need to be...I'm just overanalytical and paranoid. Or I withdraw out of fear, which can make things worse.

This trapping is more societal, because I have anxiety about doing things. I'm outgoing, but in a spontaneous way. I'm about as proactive as a plant lol.

I don't feel it's absolutely crushing to me though. I still have enough confidence to get over it and it's tended to help my life. I've been told by others I chameleon a lot but I don't really care about that, just personally. I kind of enjoy shifting between identities...I see them more as different sides of myself than somehow betraying my INTP core. I am upfront about admitting I do it too, especially when people mention it, it's natural to me and not conscious.

I don't tend to use my Ti much in socializing (obviously) though.
I can be very social at times. I just haven't felt that way lately. But you're right I have sometimes thought of chameleoning kinda like that...like I have so many different interests and aspects to my personality and I used to take pride in the fact I could get along with almost anyone. I'd also found it fun how I could easily shift between talking to a group of younger girly girls, and a group of older nerdy college guys etc. I guess when I do interact with a group I generally end up hopping from group to group and don't really end up spending much time with any one group.

And I think that's a good point about not using Ti in socializing, the only way to be able to be comfortable socializing is have well developed inferior functions.
 

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From my observations from personal experience and the other INTP's I've conversed with, it seems to me that central to every INTP is a feeling of being 'trapped' or 'imprisoned' in some shape or form.

So I'm looking for more data, answer whichever questions you choose:

1. Do you experience this? Or are there INTP's out there who feel entirely free of this sensation? (if so, please enlighten us!).
I don't really feel trapped too much. I have a habit of overanalyzing unfamiliar situations but that's about it.

2. Would you say it's more mental, physical, emotional, or something external?
Emotional, atleast for me.

3. Do you think it is inherent to the thought processes of an INTP, or does it stem from misunderstanding of our being? (Is this merely the curse of our personality type?)
Absolutely. I think the biggest problem INTP's have is that Fe tends to get overzealous, and drives Ne into overdrive which overwhelms Ti.

4. What are your personal experiences with this? Have you ever managed to feel free of this sensation and do you have any insights to offer the rest of us?
Si. Si is about internalising experiences and sensations. Si can help ground Ne into quickly eliminating the easy things which unclogs the crap Ti has to go through if that makes sense.

Example:

Body: new experience, load up.

Fe: so what... new experience to this nerd means playing video games for 12 hours instead of 13...:sad:

Body: no, it's with people this time, get ready you're on!!!!

Fe: OMGASDKJGAKLWERJTASDLKJGADLKj!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!......

Ne: too....much....ughh.....

Ti: oh god make it stop!!!!!!!!

Si: We've been through this before...

Ne: no we havn't, shut up.

Si: not this exact scenario, but remember that one time...

Ne: oh yea...

Fe: *has probably hyperventalated by now*

Si: *takes over Ti and pushes Ne into the sideseat*

Body: experience over*

Fe: *wakes up* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
 
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